Hands-on with the Surface 3

Surface 3 Bloggers

I was at a closed door media preview recently when I asked a rather embarrassing question.

Surface 3 Tablet

It was for the Microsoft Surface 3 and the Q&A was going on when I asked when the Surface Pro 3 was going to be released. There was a short moment of silence from the panel of speakers before two simultaneously told me – “It has already been released at the end of last year” – with a look that vaguely suggested that I was reaching new heights (or lows) of stupidity. smirk

Surface 3 Panel

The Surface Pro 3 is the more powerful and expensive brother to the Surface 3 and packs a beast of an i3/i5/i7 processor inside. I’ve been thinking which one to get and hadn’t decided yet at the time.

It got me thinking though…

Microsoft Surface 3 Rep

The truth of the matter is, people don’t actually follow gadget releases with religious fervour. Unless you’re a hardcore tech nerd, you probably wouldn’t be able to recite the latest hardware specifications. Most people only search for and read up on the latest news, releases and reviews when they’re about to make a purchase.

Surface 3 Hands On

This is where I come in. I’ve had hands-on experience with the Microsoft Surface 3 and I’ve been very impressed so far. I’ll be picking up a loan unit tomorrow for review but let me just tell you about the Surface 3 and what it’s all about first.

Surface 3 Demo

The Microsoft Surface 3 is a laptop replacement tablet that’s going to be released in the market soon. It’s a more affordable and mainstream offering compared to the Surface Pro 3 (which is more for power users) and it looks like it’s set to appeal to a wide range of users.

Writing Surface 3

There are a couple of new features in the latest Surface – the Surface 3 is the thinnest and lightest Surface ever! It just weighs a mere 622 grams. I was surprised when I picked it up, this is definitely lighter than I thought a tablet that works like a laptop would be.

Surface 3 Screen

Most importantly, it has a full-size USB 3.0! This allows you to connect a wide range of accessories and it’s what (for me) makes a tablet transcend into laptop functionality. You can plug in stuff like external hard disk drives for increased storage, your smartphone to transfer files (if you’re not using your own WiFi to sync), or even something as essential as a mouse!

(although I would highly recommend using a Bluetooth mouse instead of taking up the USB 3.0 slot, unless you plan on getting the docking station or a USB extender)

Surface 3 Excel

Also, Surface 3 runs all your Windows desktop software so you can use it just like a PC or notebook! That means you can use Microsoft Office, Photoshop, and all other desktop programs instead of relying on apps alone. That’s the beauty of the Surface 3 – you can run the app versions when you’re using it as a tablet, but for some essential software, you have the capability to install and execute it like you would on a normal computer.

Surface 3 Pen

The stylus is a thing of magic too – you can click it once to wake the tablet from sleep and double click it to automatically screencap what’s running and open it in OneNote (a feature I’ve found immensely useful in blogging and writing reviews).

Surface 3 Camera

There’s also an 8 MP 1080p rear-facing camera with auto-focus and a 3.5 MP 1080p front-facing camera.

Here are the specs for the Surface 3:

Surface 3 Specs

This is one tablet-laptop hybrid that looks poised to take the world by storm.

Surface 3 Blog

It’s the first Surface to have an Intel processor so you can run all Windows software, it’s the first to forgo the proprietary charging system in favor for a widely compatible micro-USB port so you can use it with your existing car and portable chargers, and it comes with an optional docking station to complete the PC experience.

Surface 3

Head over to the Microsoft Surface 3 microsite to pre-order your Surface 3 now! If you’re looking for a new tablet that has the functionality of a laptop, look no further – you know you want it. I’m really excited about this – the Microsoft Surface 3 has been hailed as a revolutionary change and it really lives up to the hype.

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11 thoughts on “Hands-on with the Surface 3”

  1. True what you said. I would only search and read up about the gadget when I am planning to get it. Not following all the release coz too many already .

    Surface 3 sound pretty awesome. Useful for those who are on the go especially bloggers.

    WIll head over to check out the specs. I need the one with good speed and memory. Hope the memory is expandable.

    • It’s a lovely device! 🙂

      I’m actually using it to reply comments right now.

      The predictive text is awesome. Yeah, people generally only read up on stuff when they want to get it.

      Surface 3 is very useful for people on the go, and you can expand your working memory with an external USB hard disk drive.

    • I’ve been hearing about the latest Surface for a while now. 🙂

      I didn’t know that the Pro version has been launched though. This is the Surface 3 that I’m using – a more cost effective version that most people would find suitable for their needs while the Pro version is for power users.

    • Haha! Yeah, I was just relating a funny story that made me think. 🙂

      I’ve used a MacBook before (never owned one but have had iPads and iPhones in the past, as well as Android tablets – in fact my very first smartphone was a Windows phone) but I’ve used one. It’s for a different segment, IMHO, this Surface 3 is meant as a dual use tablet-laptop hybrid so you can use it as a tablet or snap on the keyboard and dock it and use it as a laptop/PC.

      It’s much more portable, I love it, have been playing Heroes of the Storm on it today!

    • I’ve been using Windows 8 since before it was launched! 🙂

      To be honest, I don’t use the tiles much on my home and office laptop either. I just use the standard legacy desktop. However, I found the tiles very useful in tablets like Surface 3 – it’s more intuitive for a small touchscreen device.

      You can opt for the standard desktop experience though, with Surface 3, the default tiles easily brings you to Desktop, File Explorer etc, making it a more intuitive experience.

  2. I’ve been eyeing this Surface thingy since I first saw the Surface Pro 2 but the price is what is stopping me from getting one. If this is more affordable than the Surface Pro 3, maybe it’s worth a revisit! =)

    • Yeah, the Surface 3 is a lot cheaper than the Surface Pro 3! 🙂

      It’s slightly less than RM 2,000 when you pre-order it now. I had the chance to play around with it for a week and I’m very happy with it – it can do everything a laptop can – from playing Heroes of the Storm to running 1080p HD Matroska videos.

      I’m actually quite interested in purchasing one – maybe they have a media price, I’ll ask tomorrow.


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